The Iraqi Parliament chose Kurdish politician, Abdul Latif Rashid to lead the country. Rashid won more than 160 votes against 99 for the incumbent Saleh. Rashid, 78, is a British-educated engineer and was the Iraqi minister of water resources from 2003-2010. Outgoing President Saleh reportedly walked out of the parliament building as the votes were tallied.
Who is Abdul Latif Rashid?
- Rashid was born in 1944 in the northeastern Sulaymaniyah region of Iraq. He graduated as a civil engineer from the University of Liverpool in 1968. He went on to complete his engineering doctorate in 1976 from the University of Manchester.
- Rashid has a long history in Iraqi politics. He served as the minister of water resources from 2003 to 2010 and then as the senior adviser to the President. He can speak speaks Kurdish, Arabic and English.
- Rashid is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party. He was also the former spokesperson for the PUK in Britain.
- Although the veteran Kurdish politician is considered accommodating, he is seen as a compromise candidate for the polarised country, AFP reported.
- The move to elect him president comes when pro-Iranian Shia forces have been pushing to form a government.
- According to the Iraqi political norm since 2006, a Kurd is elected as president of the country, while a Shia takes the role of prime minister. A Sunni will head the parliament.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Iraq Capital: Baghdad;
- Iraq Currency: Dinar;
- Iraq President: Abdul Latif Rashid;
- Iraq Prime Minister: Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani.